Khabib’s bold prediction comes ahead of Makhachev’s first UFC main event this weekend. Having been bumped up from the co-main event following the cancelation of Max Holloway‘s scheduled bout with Mexico’s Yair Rodriguez, the Dagestani will now close UFC Vegas 31 in a five-round fight against Thiago Moisés.
Having foreseen his own rise in MMA, Khabib has now given the same mystic blessing to his teammate, who’s rise is set to continue on Saturday, according to Khabib.
Judging by his latest comments, Khabib certainly has faith in his training partner. During an interview with ESPN MMA’s Brett Okamoto, “The Eagle” suggested that Makhachev’s first headliner couldn’t have come at a better time.
“Islam is very good right now. Right now, October, he’s gonna become 30 years old. This is perfect time (to) show the world who’s the best.”
Khabib added that, given his form and skillset, Makhachev is a step ahead of everyone else in the lightweight division. The former champ even suggested that the 29-year-old could finish the current champion and number one contender.
“Right now, Islam on this age, he have very good win streak, mentally, physically, he’s like boxing, kicking, his grappling, everything. I think he’s a little bit step ahead from all these guys. I truly believe he can finish Dustin Poirier. Maybe Dustin gonna be upset, but I truly believe he can finish Dustin Poirier. He can maul Charles Oliveira. I don’t think Charles can play with him like all jiu-jitsu guard. I don’t think. I truly believe,” said Khabib.
The 32-year-old concluded by stating that, as long as there aren’t any injuries or accidents, Makhachev can clear out the 155-pound weight class.
“We just need time. We just need time and no accident. Complete MMA fighter, I believe Islam can beat all of these guys.”
After a memorable return to the T-Mobile Arena at UFC 264 last weekend, the UFC heads back to the Apex this weekend for an event that sees a battle of lightweight contenders headline the card.
Alongside Makhachev’s bout with Moisés will be a number of entertaining matchups. In the co-main event, Marion Reneau bids farewell to the sport by welcoming former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Miesha Tate back to action. With the likes of Jeremy Stephens, Mateusz Gamrot, and Daniel Rodriguez in action, UFC Vegas 31 looks set to be another good watch for MMA fans.
Do you think Islam Makhachev could finish Dustin Poirier and Charles Oliveira?